A story

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Sep 27, 2003
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Although this does not pertain to Buttercup's life, her passing gave me pause to write this this morning. I hope you enjoy it... For all those who give their lives to helping those creatures in need.


Time must pass. Liquid brown eyes looked up over a splintered fence line at rows of thunder filled clouds. Her head dropped, nose in the dirt, scavenging for a morsel that might have escaped earlier. Her heart felt as heavy as the rain-soaked mountains in the sky.

A shiny metal monster stopped in the yard. In the pen the little mare’s head popped up. In her eyes was hope, but only for a moment. She watched the slender legs of the young woman who kept her get out of the car, and walk up to a porch behind the grand home just beyond the pen of mud.

The door of the house flew open just as the woman approached, and several young children ran out. Glee was spread across their faces, and it froze Bitty’s heart. Her mind raced back to a peaceful time. Carefree and running along side her momma, her little tuft of mane shooting off in every direction behind her, her whiskbroom tail straight up in the air… the time she first saw the slender woman, and her children. She was afraid at first, but her momma knickered and let the children touch her. What fun she’d thought it was back then.

Big lady, momma had called her keeper of the grain, asked many questions. Too many for Bitty to remember, but she remembered Big lady saying how pleased she was that Bitty was going to a lovely home, with such a caring family. Even momma seemed pleased.

Bitty’s mind snapped back to watch the children run for the fence line. For a moment her heart lifted, they were coming to play. She looked away when they didn’t. The children ran past without even a glance at the battered old shed, the worn out fence, and the little horse standing in the mud.

Bitty’s stomach growled, and twisted with hunger. It hurt. She thought about walking to relieve the pressure, but that hurt too. Instead she propped her head on the top of the fence, straining to reach across to a tall weed on the other side.

Another metal monster stopped next to the shiny car. Bitty’s eyes widened. It was a big, scary thing, covered in rust. The slender lady hurried across the yard as a little bow-legged man climbed out of the truck. Bitty heard voices, but not the words. Then the slender woman headed for the pen. Finally, Bitty thought. Her heart pounded with joy, and anticipation of a handful of hay, perhaps some grain, even… as she turned to look at the green/brown liquid in her trough, some water.

The slender woman disappeared into the run down little shack next to the pen, and emerged, but not with hay. Bitty’s heart dropped. The woman had a rope. The pen gate opened, the woman hesitated to step into the mud. Next to her the little man grumbled, and grabbed the rope. He snapped it onto Bitty’s halter and pulled.

Bitty squealed at the jerk on the rope. Her little feet felt like they would fall off from the suction of the ankle deep mud. She struggled to follow the rope, but she couldn’t move quick enough. The little man spun around and yelled. He yanked harder. Bitty threw her head up, startled at the commotion. Her pull sent the little man flying headfirst into the mud at her feet.

The slender woman laughed heartily, but Bitty just put her nose down to the man’s cheek, and tried to comfort him. His hand shot up. It’s knarled fingers grabbed the strap of Bitty’s halter and he hauled himself from the mud. Pain shot through Bitty’s neck, and back at the weight of the man, but she stood as best she could in the mud.

Finally they were out of the mud. The green grass under Bitty’s feet felt so good, so soft, warm… solid. The little man gave the woman some green stuff. Bitty tried to get her nose up to sniff it, it looked like food, at least it was green. The woman giggled and pulled her hand away from Bitty’s nose. The man yanked the rope, and Bitty spun around to follow him.

He led her behind the monstrous machine, grumbling, and complaining while he dropped a piece of it down. Bitty’s legs quivered as the old man hoisted her up into the air, struggling, puffing, weaving, until he managed to get her to the vicinity of the back of the truck. He dropped her onto the slippery metal, and slammed shut the tailgate. He grabbed the rope and pulled Bitty’s head towards the front of the little metal pen, and tied her there.

Bitty’s heart raced with fear as the truck roared to life and took off out of the driveway. Wind whipped against her face and tore at her mane. The big truck ran faster than she’d ever dreamt of, but it wasn’t fun at all. Occasionally it stopped, just long enough for Bitty to catch her breath and regain her footing on the metal floor. Faces peered at her from inside other roaring metal machines. Then they’d be off again.

The truck stopped in a little farmyard littered with animals. Bitty’s ears pricked forward-at last, somewhere to feel at home. The truck gate dropped, and the man pulled on the rope. Bitty braced against the tug that pulled her toward the dangerous drop. The little man yelled and pulled harder. Bitty slid to the end, and had no choice but to jump.

The pain in her legs made her stumble, but the little man didn’t wait, he dragged on the rope until she scrambled to catch up.

Time must pass, Bitty thought as she stood in the tiny circle, held by a rope with a saddle on her back that weighed as much as she did. She didn’t even raise her head when the little bent man hoisted a child into the seat. Bitty ignored the pain in her back, the child’s kicking legs, and the feel of the steel in her mouth as it ripped into her gums. She stumbled forward with the rest of the animals she’d come to know from the little farm. Past the makeshift panels that held babies for children to grab and hold. Past the lines of smiling faces waiting for their turn to ride. Time must pass.

Time did pass, and months went by. Months filled with weekends of walking in circles, and little hands that grabbed for her. Most were kind, some were not, none of it mattered. Her little legs cracked with every step. Her feet throbbed with pain. Her back ached. She couldn’t even lift her head when a new shiny truck pulled into the farmyard one day. She just stood with her head down in the dirt until a pair of polished boots stopped right in front of her nose, and a long, thin hand reached down to take hold of her halter that hung in tatters off her.

“You poor old girl,†the kind voice said. Bitty lifted her eyes to see a tall man, with kind, generous eyes staring down at her.

Bitty shook as she was led to the truck, but behind the mean machine was another. The man dropped down the door that reached to the ground, and helped Bitty take faltering steps into the padded, bedded down stall inside. He pet her gently, and gave her some hay. Bitty reached for the food tentatively, with one eye on the tall man. He smiled at her, and touched her shoulder softly. “It’s okay, my dear,†he said to her, and she knew at last it was.

Time still passed, only now it was blissful. Bitty’s legs still creaked, and her body sometimes ached, but every day the tall man came and rubbed her gently, and talked to her in his sweet, soft voice. There were others there. Some ran with joy, some didn’t, some couldn’t, but all spent their days in peace. Across the fence in the yard next to Bitty was a handsome little Stallion. He stood so proud. Ribbons adorned his stall inside. Down the aisle ribbons fluttered from many doors, and Bitty watched at times as other little horses trotted alongside the man on their way for the weekend. They were happy to go. What could that be, she wondered, surely it couldn’t be fun.

Then one warm, bright day, tall man opened Bitty stall after he’d led out others and put them in the padded moving barn. Bitty shook with fear, but tall man touched her gently, and smiled, so she followed.

The moving barn stopped at a noisy, big place. Bitty stepped out of the trailer and followed tall man down a row of brightly adorned stalls. They stopped beside one with fluttering drapery. Bitty touched the material curiously as a woman emerged. Big lady! Bitty nuzzled her hand as the old woman stroked her neck. This trip was fun! Bitty danced a little in the aisle as she watched all that went on. Her friends were led into a big yard and stood there so proud while they were given silky ribbons. Bitty was so happy. Tall man led her back to the truck, and they all got in. Finally they arrived back home, and Bitty ambled down to her stall, deep with bedding, and laid down to sleep with joy in her heart.

The next morning, Bitty awoke, but not in her stall. She lifted her head and gazed out at an endless field of luscious green grass. In the distance, across a splendid bridge, was a herd of beautiful horses of every shape and size. She was afraid at first, but the warmth of the sun, and the sound of happy horses all around her gave her peace. From the herd a large white stallion emerged. He walked gracefully toward Bitty.

Bitty jumped to her feet, then all thoughts of the magnificent stallion fled her mind as she felt the power in her legs, and the strength in her back… no pain. Bitty flung her head up with glee and whinnied into the heavens. When she looked back at the stallion, he was smiling. He welcomed her with a scratch on the withers, and in her heart she suddenly knew what was to be done. Before she entered the eternal field, she had a job to do.

The stallion nodded when she realized her mission, and turned back to the herd of noble beasts on the vast prairie. Before Bitty’s eyes, the herd took off, thundering across the floating grasslands. She watched them as they flew across the heavens, then she turned to a trickling stream. At the edge of the deep blue waters was a bed of stones that glimmered like diamonds at her feet. She picked one up, and her heart spoke. Thunder split the heavens as she tossed the rock into the deep blue sea of sky. The diamond came to rest amongst the stars and shone bright for all the world to see, and every night the world below would see the name of the person in Bitty’s heart…Tall man would be blessed for all eternity.

Bitty knickered her thanks, and trotted across the bridge that led to happiness, and whipped across the field to catch the herd. Her mane billowing behind her, her tail straight up like a flag… time had passed.

copywrite 2004 Tami Parrington
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that is beautiful
That is a wonderful story. You should have that published. It should be mandatory reading for horse owners, to illistrate the type of owners that are out there.
Oh gee... That was wonderful and at the same time it pulled at my heart.

Now, can someone tell me how to explain to my fellow co-workers why my keyboard is shorted out???
This is exactly why we can't sell any of our babies, when I say babies I don't just mean the foals I mean all our minis. I worry to much what home they go to and what home they would possibly go to after that.

What a story, it does need to be published.
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Such a happy ending but the beginning
..............too many live their lives that way 'til the end. With tears streaming down my face you have reminded me I have been on a break long enough. Thank you.
Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad it was able to touch you.
Very nice!

When I think about how life could have ended for Buttercup at 'that place' it makes my heart ache. Then, I think about how many people walked right by her and ignored her in that condition.

I'm so glad she was able to touch the lives of so many people and inspire people to write such great stories.

She was a wonderful little horse. I know she earned her 'wings' and I will always think of her as a little Angel. I can actually picture her as a little, 'aged' Unicorn, too. A magical little girl.
ohhh tami im fighting back the tears again. buttercup truly touched so many hearts and I can see her galloping away knowing her job here was done
Beautifully written. I only wish the tearful part could be something that none of these little guys must endure.

That is a beautiful story! So sad, but so true.

I agree this story should be read by all mini/horse owners.

It really makes me sad to think that there are so many horses out there that live in that type of situation.

Little Buttercup has certainly touched the lives of many.

I really think this needs to be put on the reg LB Forum so that many more people will read it.

Thanks so much for sharing!!
That is a beautiful story!! Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us. It truly made me cry thinking of that little mare and all the others out there who don't have anyone to love them.


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